Plank flooring is traditional flooring that is made of solid wood planks that are about 3” or more. Due to the width of the boards, the natural color and pattern of the wood are well emphasized. Needless to say, plank flooring looks and feels sturdy without compromising aesthetics.
Because of its strength and durability, plank flooring has been the old choice for areas of high foot traffic and moisture such as kitchens. Slab floors offer both extremes: robustness and comfort for the feet.
Wide plank flooring
Wide plank flooring is a preferred type of flooring that uses planks that are up to a foot wide. This type of floor goes back to the medieval ages when the wooden floor was used for functional purposes and not for decorative purposes. However, the broad plank floor has an unmatched character and beauty because these planks are milled from older trees that have taken years to develop and gain girth.
Due to high demand for the rustic features of a wide plank floor, recycled wide planks are mostly used. This is because there are not enough wide girthed trees around to provide the wood for the wide plank floor. Also, cutting available trees is against the environment. In addition to its resilience, wide plank flooring is extremely bio-friendly and biodegradable. It therefore puts no load on the environment and is considered absolutely “green”.
The natural texture, the grains and knots, the large grains and the worm runs are appreciated by old timers, as they remind of the countryside. These raw features are also sought after by modern homeowners. No wonder even nail ridden planks become something to show off.
Wide plank flooring it symbolizes antiquity and cannot be successfully replicated by the modern hardwood flooring industry. It therefore remains unrivaled by modern floor designs.
Cost of floor plank
No matter what your budget is, you can always fit in a decent plank floor of your choice. The prices are dictated by the type of wood, the grade of wood, the finish, the width, and the thickness of the boards. Prices also vary depending on whether you choose natural or engineered material. Manufacturing and recycling costs also play an important role in pricing.
Tips for buying slabs
1. Since kitchens require high activity, high temperatures and humidity, hardwoods such as oak, Brazilian cherry, teak, maple or hickory are very suitable for plank flooring. Avoid pine and other soft woods as they easily dent and scratch.
2. First grade material has less or no whorls or knots, and is suitable for modern city kitchens. However, if you want a more natural look or are low on your budget, you can go for a lower grade of wood.
3. It is an obvious fact that thicker plates it will give more robustness for your kitchen countertops. So buy the thickest material you can afford.
4. Choose bigger plates if your kitchen is bigger and vice versa. Larger planks will give your plank floor a smooth look.
5. Keep your kitchen’s color scheme and theme in mind while choosing the color and pattern of your plank flooring. Properly installed plank flooring will not only stand out but also blend well with the rest of your kitchen decor without looking too stark.
6. You can choose between unfinished and pre-finished plank flooring. Unfinished floor, although cheap, needs to be finished at home with oil, stain or lacquer. The pre-finished plank floor comes ready in the factory and is more resistant to spills, scratches, moisture and the damaging effects of direct sunlight. It also carries a better warranty than an unfinished one.
7. For extra durability you can choose an engineered plank floor. This is a special type of pre-finished floor that is reinforced by adding an extra layer of plywood under the actual wood plank. Floor plank engineering is suitable for ground level kitchens where humidity is at a maximum.
Installation of plank floors
The type of installation you choose will determine the cost of the installation. So you will have to decide if you want your plank floor to be floating, glued, stapled or nailed. Floating plank flooring is the quickest to install as each plank has a tongue that fits into a groove in consecutive planks.
Your plank floor installation may not produce the best results and may affect the floor’s long-term durability. So always hire an experienced, licensed hardwood contractor to get the job done. A qualified contractor will see to it that your plank floor stays in shape despite changes in humidity and temperatures to which it will obviously be subjected.
Plank floor maintenance
Always follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturer for the care and maintenance of your plank floor.
For best cleaning results, you can vacuum and swab your plank floor with a damp mop. Do not use harsh liquid cleaners as they may stain the finish.
In areas of high foot traffic and areas where there is the possibility of spillage, you can place area rugs to reduce infiltration and wear and tear.
Do not let spilled liquid sit on your plank floor, but immediately wipe it up. This prevents the liquid from entering the gap between the plates and causing them to swell.
Over time, the surface of your plank floor may show signs of wear. As with any hardwood floor, you can refinish your plank floor and bring back the original shine.
How to get the best price on a plank floor
BuildDirect seems to be one of the best places to buy plank flooring from. Besides the best prices, their customer-friendly policies make shopping from them a pleasure.